The Corona del Mar Christmas Walk &
38 Years of Our "So-Cal Claus"

By Jill McLean

Santa and his surfboard came to town again for Christmas! Not only was the Corona del Mar (CdM) village brimming with the festivities on December 4th, it marked the 38th year that this anticipated celebration was successfully hosted by the CdM Chamber of Commerce. Just like a beautifully wrapped and ribboned gift, thousands of people came together to receive this joyous time of year with giddy excitement. Stretching the entire village along Pacific Coast Highway, people sold and bought Christmas and holiday wares, watched performances, listened to live music and enjoyed tasty morsels and warming beverages of all kinds.

The kindred spirit amongst the families, friends, locals, visitors and entrepreneurs shone like the northern star in our lovely gem on the coast. Decked from end to end as a beachy winter wonderland, this stretch of merriment was a sight to behold! Playful reindeer antler and fuzzy Santa hats bobbed up and down as people mixed, mingled, bartered, and enjoyed the true spirit of Christmas amongst the amazing Southern California weather. In true CdM fashion, the surf and sand culture was abundant with shorts and flip-flops, cute elf and Santa attire, and lots and lots of red… We love this time of year in paradise, and we aren’t afraid to show it!

No party this big is complete without the good vibes of live music, and this year was topped again with over 12 signature bands, including “Pinch Me!” as the harbinger of dancing and plenty enjoyment to last the whole month of December, especially in conjunction with the Beer & Wine Garden. Of course, amazingly scrumptious treats, meals and nibbles were abundant, including flavorful fare from the Fireman’s Grill BBQ event, restaurant tastings and celebration parties.

Corona del Mar never comes up short with a reason to spread the cheer and even get some shopping in on top of it! CdM’s beautiful storefronts along the business district were more than generous in having “The Walk” be a time to showcase their unique offerings as well as promoting the strength of a fabulous, collaborative spirit all year ‘round. The inclusive personality of the village made sure that the shopping extended all day long with the flurry of activity at the vendor faire. Promoting business in one of the most popular areas of the festivities, thousands of people shopped for stocking stuffers, services and other goodies.

Of course, what would such a spirited gathering be without making merry for the kids, too? Families enjoyed snapping pics with their favorite Santa Clause, played in rambunctious bouncy houses, showed their courage with bungee jumping, giggled with holiday characters and — reminiscent of brightly colored Christmas lights — there were performances and caroling for those seeking the theatrical.

Like the sprinkles on holiday cookies or whipped cream and marshmallows on hot cocoa, the “Christmas Walk Opportunity Drawing” was a hit once again. Attendees clamored for ticket purchases so they could win all manner of wonderful provisions for the year ahead… unique gift items, delicious restaurant meals, services and gift certificates, not to mention luxurious spa packages and delightful hotel stays. Valued at over $15,000 worth of prizes, this part of “The Walk” was the best gift of all! 

Without a doubt, Santa really knew what he was doing this year. Even without snowflakes and winter weather, this sunny beach community celebrated each other, the beautiful Christmas season, and made merry at this annual tradition that warms the heart and spirit of Corona del Mar like the glow of Rudolph's bright and shiny nose. Next up … 2017!